[Brainmap]: Peter Caravan PhD- Molecular Imaging of Fibrosis

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 12:00 to 13:00



It is estimated that half of the deaths in the developed world stem from diseases that manifest with a fibroproliferative component.  For example atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, pulmonary fibrosis, diabetic nephropathy, inflammatory bowel disease, scleroderma, atherosclerosis, muscular dystrophy all involve fibrosis of the heart, liver, lung, kidneys, intestine, skin, blood vessels, and muscles, respectively.  Pro-fibrotic pathways are increasingly the subject of existing and novel therapeutic interventions to treat these diseases.  However the available tools for detecting and quantifying fibrosis and for measuring disease change are often absent or inadequate.  Biopsy remains the gold standard in many diseases, but biopsy is invasive, suffers sampling error, has complications, and is not suited to repeat studies.  Existing imaging techniques are inadequate or limited to advanced disease.  None of the existing techniques can distinguish active fibrosis (fibrogenesis) from stable scar.  Our lab has been developing PET and MR molecular probes to detect and stage fibrosis and to monitor response to treatment, and have applied these probes to quantify fibrosis in the liver, heart, lung, and in fibrotic tumor stroma.  Further, we have developed a novel approach to distinguish active fibrogenesis from stable disease.  In this lecture we will describe our efforts in imaging fibrosis and fibrogenesis in a range of animal models of disease and in different organ systems, as well as the translational opportunities provided by these molecular probes.

About the Speaker

Peter Caravan is the Head of the Translational Molecular Imaging Lab and Director of the Institute for Innovation in Imaging (I3) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), as well as Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).  He comes from Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, Canada and received his education in Canada (B.Sc. (Hons) from Acadia University and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia), followed by post-doctoral studies at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Dr. Caravan’s broad interests are in the development of novel molecular probes for use in positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, application to disease detection, staging and treatment monitoring, and ultimate translation to clinical practice.  Prior to joining MGH/HMS in 2007, he worked in industry developing targeted MR probes such as MS-325 (gadofosveset, FDA approved) and EP-2104R, the first molecular MR imaging probe to enter human clinical trials.  At MGH/HMS he invented and translated the PET probe 64Cu-FBP8 currently in human clinical trials for detection of thrombosis (blood clots).